Reed Irvine - Editor
  May A , 1981 X-9  


  • "Jimmygate"
  • Pulitzergate
  • The Post as Victim
  • "Jimmy" Lives Next to Deep Throat
  • Bradlee and Woodward Should Resign
  •  What You Can Do
  • Notes
  • There is no doubt that Washington Post executive editor Benjamin Bradlee has a way with words. In 1978, he wrote to Reed Irvine, the Chairman of AIM saying that he had concluded that Irvine was "a miserable, carping, retromingent vigilante." That was because AIM had exposed The Washington Post's cover-up of the genocide in Cambodia. We had singled out Laurence Stern, who was then The Post's national news editor, for having made the decision not to run an important eyewitness account of the Cambodian genocide and then having given a justification for this action that was false.

    In his "Notes" in the AIM Report for May II 1978, Irvine wrote: "I would certainly not suggest that one can prove that a reporter or an editor is in the pay of foreign intelligence simply on the basis of the way they handle certain news stories. However, in this age pay is not the dominant incentive behind service to certain foreign powers. Ideology is far more important than monetary reward in many, perhaps most, cases.

    "If an editor refuses to Fun stories such as those of Pin Yathay, Frank Emmick and the expose of the contents of Orlando Letelier's briefcase, thereby avoiding causing damage to the image of communists or those on the left, he serves the communist cause just as surely as he would if he were getting paid by them. The proper question therefore is not whether such and individual is in the pay of a foreign power or is subject to the discipline of the Communist Party, but do his decisions follow a pattern of harming the forces of freedom and benefiting the enemies of freedom.

    "A publisher of broadcaster who is genuinely concerned about avoiding infiltration of his organization by foreign intelligence services really has no alternative but to keep a close eye on the way stories are being played up or played down or killed. And when a demonstrably false reason is given for killing a good story a thorough investigation would be an appropriate reaction."

    Ben Bradlee's reaction to that was the vituperative letter quoted above. When Laurence Stern died in 1979, among those who eulogized him at the memorial service presided over by Ben Bradlee was the Washington station chief of the Cuban intelligence service, Teofilo Acosta. He praised Stern as a "good friend." Rather than investigate Stern's ties to Cuban intelligence, The Washington Post set up a memorial fund to honor him.


    It is ironic that although The Washington Post has escaped general censure for such serious sins as the cover-up of the Cambodian genocide for three years, it has come to grief over a story about an 8-year-old heroin addict that turned out to be a fabrication.

    The story itself created a brief sensation in Washington. It was published on the front page on September 28, 1980. It was buried 18 days later when The Post reported in its local news section that the city was ending its efforts to locate the child addict whose identity The Post had refused to disclose. That story reported on page C-3 that Mayor Barry and officials of the D.C. police department were convinced that the story was part myth and part reality." He said that he and police narcotics officers all agreed that the mother of the child and her drug-pusher lover would not have allowed a reporter to witness them injecting heroin into the child as had been claimed by Post reporter Janet Cooke.

    The Post reacted saying that it stood by its story. Three months later it nominated the story for a Pulitzer Prize, in the local news reporting category. This took chutzpah. At the time the nomination was submitted, no one at The Washington Post had the name of address of the child heroin addict. No one in a position of authority had reviewed reporter Cooke's notes or tapes, even though a number of people on The Post's staff had serious doubts about the authenticity of the story. A few days after the story was published, Post reporter Courtland Milloy drove Janet Cooke through the neighborhood where she claimed, "Jimmy" lived. Milloy said that it didn't take long to see that Cooke didn't know the area. Milloy asked her if the house was to the right or the left of if they had already passed it. Cooke didn't know.

    Milloy reported his experience and his doubts to city editor Milton Coleman, who later said that he was "leery" of Milloy's conclusions. He later told Post ombudsman, Bill Green, that he thought Milloy might be motivated in part by jealousy. However, Coleman claims that he conveyed Milloy's doubts to the Metro editor, Robert Woodward, and the managing editor, Howard Simons. Neither of these editors was sufficiently troubled to insist that another effort be made to have the reporter identify the house where "Jimmy" lived. It was not until after the publicity over the Pulitzer Prize had resulted in the discovery that Janet Cooke had lied about her academic record that Milton Coleman himself drove with the reporter to the neighborhood where the child was supposed to have lived and learned that Janet Cooke did not know the neighborhood or the house.

    Nor was any effort made to require Cooke to provide the real names of the people involved in the story or to show her notes and tapes to her editors until after the lies about her academic background were exposed.

    Milloy was not alone in doubting Cooke's story at The Post. According to ombudsman Bill Green's report, Cooke's editor at the time she did the story, Vivian Aplin-Brownlee, was one of the strongest doubters. Aplin-Brownlee is the editor if the District Weekly, where Cooke was assigned in her first year at the The Post. She had assigned Cooke to do a story about a new type of heroin that was said to he on the streets of Washington. Cooke amassed extensive material about drug abuse, and Aplin-Brownlee thought it had potential for a story for the Metro section, and so she turned the reporter and the story she was working on over to city editor Milton Coleman. Aplin-Brownlee did not see the "Jimmy's World" story until it was published on September 28. She has said that she was astonished by it. She told Bill Green: "I never believed it, and I told Milton that. I knew her so well and the depth of her. In her eagerness to make a name she would write farther than the truth would allow. When challenged on facts in other stories, Janet would reverse herself, but without dismay or consternation with herself. I knew she would be tremendously out of place in a 'shooting gallery.' I didn't believe she could set access. No pusher would shoot up a child in her presence. Some of the language didn't ring true. What 8-year-old in 'Jimmy's circum- stances would make a connection between math and drugs?"

    This was a reference to Cooke's assertion in her story that little "Jimmy" went to class only to learn about "his favorite subject--math." She had him saying, "You got to know how to do some figuring if you want to go into business... They don't BE no jobs. You got to have some money to do anything, got to make some good cash. Got to be selling something people always want to buy. Ron say people always want to buy some horse. My mama say it, too. She be using it and her mama be using it. It's always gonna be somebody who can use it... The rest of them dudes on the street is sharp. You got to know how many of them are out there, how much they charge for all the different s---, who gonna buy from them and where their spots be... they bad, you know, cause they in business for themselves. Ain't nobody really telling them how they got to act."

    Little "Jimmy" was not only a sharp businessman and economist, it seems, but he was also something of a philosopher. In a second story about him that ran on October 5, 1980, Janet Cooke said that Jimmy had "grown philosophical about why people buy marijuana and PCP." She had him saying, "It don't mean nothing to be smoking herb or wack (PCP), it's just a way to be cool and hang. People buy it to get theyselves together while they in school... School be the thing they need some help to deal with, so they come out and buy some s____. Lots of people in school need to be smoking some herb or wack."

    Judith Crist, who chaired the Pulitzer jury for feature writing said that the story sounded like "total fiction" to her. Interviewed on the Pat Buchanan-Tom Braden talk show on WRC radio in Washington on April 16, Crist said, "I'm a life-long New Yorker. I know how 8-year-old ghetto kids talk. Not one of those quotes would stand up for three minutes."


    Even though the story won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Crist and her panel had nothing to do with its selection. They had not even seen the story, since it had been entered in the local news-reporting category. The story had lost in that category, but the Pulitzer board had decided, without the knowledge of the feature panel, to give "Jimmy's World" the prize for features.

    Grist said that she was at first horrified when she read of the switch. "But then I did think that perhaps the greatest feature story in the world had come along at the last minute," she said. "And then I read the story. I was horrified. I really was. We had many similar submissions in the feature-writing category. I speak only for myself, but I practically discard that kind of story, I'm an old-fashioned journalist." (Judith Crist is a veteran reporter, film critic and professor of journalism at Columbia University).

    Crist said that she was cynical about "these delicious little stories about kids." "We had lots of submissions for them," she said. I don't call it the new journalism. I call it the new fiction. We got a lot of good feature stories that could just as well have been short stories or novellas. This whole business of making composite people has just cheapened the profession, and I just have a personal skepticism when I approach a story like that."

    However, Crist said in mitigation of the decision of the Pulitzer board to overrule the jury and give the prize to "Jimmy's World" that they no doubt had confidence in the checking done by The Washington Post. "I'm sure they felt that The Washington Post had the name and address and credentials of that 8-year-old boy, as well, may I say, the credentials of their reporter, which they never bothered to get," she said.

    The Pulitzer board had reason to feel that The Post had let them down. Richard T. Baker, associate dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and Pulitzer board secretary, said that he had learned that there was, considerable doubt about "Jimmy's World" inside The Post. "Why didn't they tell us?" he asked. Clayton Kirkpatrick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune and also a member of the Pulitzer board said, "No one really questioned the story. All I thought was, 'My God, what an amazing story, could it be true?' But you have to take something on faith, and you assume the credibility of the person nominating it, in this case The Washington Post."

    In 1978, after the Raymond Clapper award was given to a series of articles published by the Des Moines Resister which AIM had found to be riddled with inaccuracies and exaggerations, AIM suggested that journalism awards juries he informed not only of the praise submitted in support of stories nominated for prizes, but also of any criticism that may have been made of the stories. The juries have no way of knowing in most cases whether or not a story is even accurate. They are normally provided only with the pitches made by the nominating publications.

    The "Jimmy" story had been the subject of considerable controversy in Washington. Robert Maynard, a former Washington Post editor, who is now editor of the Oakland Tribune, and who served on the feature jury, pointed out that he and at least one other person on that jury knew something about the controversy surrounding the story. He told the Wall Street Journal, "One, or probably both of us, would have said, 'There are so many questions about whether this child exists' and we would have resisted recommending it for the Pulitzer." On the other hand, Roger Wilkins, a Washington Star editor, who like Maynard is black, is said to have urged the Pulitzer board to give the prize to "Jimmy's World." Wilkins is on the board, as is William Raspberry, a black columnist for The Washington Post. What role Raspberry played in the matter, if any, is not known. Both men certainly knew that the story had been a subject of controversy. Apparently neither man informed the board of the doubts that existed about the authenticity of the story. Raspberry had published a column on October 3 defending the story and The Post's right to refuse to identify the people in it.

    The Post as Victim

    The Washington Post was not the first to break the story of "Jimmygate." That honor goes to The Washington Star, which revealed on April 15 that the story was under a cloud and the Pulitzer Prize would be returned. The Post followed the next day with its account of the discovery that Janet Cooke had deceived The Post.

    In an editorial optimistically headed, "The End of the 'Jimmy' Story," The Post apologized to its readers, saying, and "This newspaper was itself the victim of a hoax--which we then passed along in a prominent page- one story, taking in the readers as we ourselves had been taken in." The editorial argued that "the sheer magnitude and breathtaking gall of the deception--its size--made it harder to detect.., it is more probable that you will be able to catch and correct less ambitious distortions or errors that the massive falsehood that underlay the 'Jimmy' story. For the rock-bottom element of trust and the assumption of good faith that must exist in any professional relationship diminish the chances that you will spot a huge scam right away."

    Ben Bradlee developed this theme in an interview on John McLaughlin's talk show on WRC radio on April 18, saying: "There is no system that I know of that can be developed that is going to protect you from somebody who is going to be a pathological liar. This hoax has hurt us, but to argue from there that other stories are wrong is what you call a disjunctive syllogism, John."

    Bradlee even tried to suggest that The Post was justified in its confidence in the story by a statement made by Mayor Barry of Washington two days after the story ran. He said: "You remember two days, and most people haven't remembered it, and certainly the mayor hasn't helped anybody remember it, but two days after it happened, the mayor announced that he knew who Jimmy was because the city was treating Jimmy and his family. That's about as much confirmation as you can get in this business."

    That was false. What the mayor had said, according to The Post of October 1, 1980, was that an 8-year-old addict believed to be the subject of The Post story had been identified through a drug counselor at Howard University. That was on page one. The next day, in the Metro section, The Post reported that no one in the city government, including the mayor, knew the name or whereabouts of the child and his mother. There was no suggestion that they were under treatment by the city. The drug counselor had proved to be of no help. Mr. Bradlee was grasping for a very thin reed in seeing that as confirmation of the "Jimmy" story.

    Despite The Post's claim to have been the victim of a mind-boggling hoax, and Ben Bradlee's claim that there is no protection against a pathological liar, the record in this case makes it clear that Cooke did not overwhelm The Post's defenses against fraud. She merely took advantage of the fact that The Post had no defenses against fraud. Her "breathtaking" hoax was exposed immediately once the editors insisted that she show them the house where Jimmy lived and let them see her notes and tapes. That could have been done, and should have been done before the story ever ran in the paper. It should have been done when the story encountered criticism and the city began a large and costly effort to try to track down "Jimmy." It should have been done when Courtland Milloy discovered that Janet Cooke didn't know the neighborhood where Jimmy was supposed to live. It should have been done before the paper submitted the story for a Pulitzer Prize, implicitly certifying that the story had been authenticated.

    Cooke's Model Janet Cooke had reason to believe that she could get away with her modest little fraud if she had simply read All the President's Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Woodward, now the Metro editor of The Post, had told in the book how he had succeeded in keeping the identity of his famous source, "Deep Throat," from Katharine Graham, the chairman of the board of The Washington Post.

    Mrs. Graham was pressing for information about their Watergate sources. The book says: "Woodward said that he had told no one the name of Deep Throat." Mrs. Graham paused. 'Tell me,' she said. Woodward froze. He said he would give her the name if she wanted. He was praying she wouldn't press it. Mrs. Graham laughed, touched his arm, and said she was only kidding, she didn't really want to carry that burden around with her."

    And so the identity of Deep Throat was never revealed to Mrs. Graham or anyone else at The Post. All Janet Cooke had to do was follow in the footsteps of her editor, Bob Woodward, and she might pull off the perfect journalistic crime. The story, she told a friend, was her "ticket off the District Weekly." That worked. She got a promotion to Metro. She even got a Pulitzer Prize, and she would be its proud possessor today if she hadn't carried her fabrications to the point of giving herself a degree from Vassar and an M.A. from Toledo University when all she really had was a B.A. from Toledo.

    "Jimmy" Lives Next to Deep Throat

    The lesson The Post has presumably learned from "Jimmygate" is that reporters must not be allowed to conceal their confidential sources from the editors. But what about the sources that have been concealed in the past--notably Deep Throat?

    On the morning The Washington Star broke the "Jimmygate" story, Joel Spivak interviewed AIM chairman Reed Irvine on WRC radio in Washing- ton. Irvine called on The Post to reveal the identity of Deep Throat, if he actually exists. If Deep Throat was what Woodward said, an official in the executive branch of the government, there should be no reason today for him to continue to insist on anonymity. He could sell his story for a million dollars. He would be acclaimed as a great hero. Why doesn't he come forward or give permission to The Post to reveal his identity, removing the suspicion that he is a fabrication or a composite?

    Ben Bradlee responded to this suggestion with his usual eloquence. The UPI quoted him as saying, they can go ____ themselves. It's a perfectly ridiculous comparison. If my memory is right, damn near 20 people went to jail. There were trials and hearings and the president resigned."

    All of which does not explain why the identity of Deep Throat has to be kept a secret today. Other journalists don't think the comparison is so ridiculous. Pat Buchanan echoed our call. Hugh Sidey of Time magazine said on the TV program, "Agronsky & Co." on April 19: "What about Watergate? What about Deep Throat? That one turned out to be right, but doesn't it raise some questions about whether in reality there was such a source?" Carl Rowan agreed that it raised questions, but he noted that The Post had claimed that it insisted on multiple confirmations in the Watergate investigation. Sidey responded: "But they claimed that they never shared that with the editor of The Post." Even Martin Agronsky supported Sidey in telling a wisecrack going around The Post. "Where does 'Jimmy' live?" he asked. The answer: "Next door to Deep Throat."

    Robert Shulman, until recently the media critic of the Louisville Times and now managing editor of a new PBS program, "Inside Story," asked, "How does the public know that Deep Throat existed?" in an interview on National Public Radio on April 16. Shulman said that editors he knew, with a lifetime commitment to the job, would have fired any reporter who came in and said, "I won't tell you my sources even though you're my editor."

    The reasons for demanding the revelation of the identity of Deep Throat are not merely to satisfy public curiosity and to see if The Washington Post really means to turn over a new leaf. There is evidence of a "second conspiracy" in the Watergate case. In the December 1975 AIM Report we discussed in detail the sworn testimony before the minority staff of the Ervin committee that showed that top officials of the Democratic National Committee had been tipped off about the Watergate break-in six weeks in advance. The information was apparently fairly detailed, and according to the source of the tip, a New York detective named A.J. Woolston-Smith, his contact at the DNC was elated when he talked to him the day after the break-in. He was elated, Woolston-Smith said, because things had gone pretty much as had been predicted.

    Jim Hougan, Washington editor of Harper's magazine, has shown in an article in Harper's that the Watergate break-in was sabotaged from within. Hougan's evidence suggests that James McCord was a double agent. The advance tip to the DNC fits in nicely with this evidence that someone was organizing a set-up that could be used to create acute embarrassment for the Nixon administration.

    Woodward no doubt had a good source that was providing him guidance in his investigation of Watergate. Was that source part of the conspiracy to set up the burglary, blow it, and then use the press to achieve the desired result? If we knew who Deep Throat was, we might have the answer to that question. If Deep Throat was part of such a conspiracy, that would explain why he won't surface even at this late date to claim fame and fortune. The Post has a duty to come clean and tell us who Deep Throat really was.

    Bradlee and Woodward Should Resign

    The reaction to "Jimmygate" in Washington has exposed tremendous animosity and bitterness toward The Washington Post. The typical reaction is, "It couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch." "Arrogant" is one of the most frequently used adjectives to describe the paper.

    Woodward has said: "It would be absurd for me or any other editor to review the authenticity or accuracy of stories that are submitted for prizes." Bradlee has said that no system could have protected The Post from being victimized by a pathological liar.

    The fact is that the overweening ambition of both men, their desire to win that Pulitzer, blinded them to their responsibility to their readers. They failed to take elementary steps to check the story. This is not the first time The Post has disserved its readers under Bradlee's stewardship. It won't be the last if there is not a housecleaning.

    What You Can Do

    Write to Katharine Graham, Chairman, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071, and demand (1)the disclosure of the identity of Deep Throat, and (2] the resignations of Bradlee and Woodward.


    WHEN THE "JIMMYGATE" STORY FIRST BROKE IN THE WASHINGTON STAR ON THE MORNING OF April 15 I was in Phoenix, Arizona to attend the annual CBS shareholders' meeting. I had intended to devote at least part of this issue of the AIM Report to the discussion at that meeting, but The Washington Post story has crowded it out. The story dominated the Washington radio talk shows for several days, and one caller to the Braden-Buchanan show on WRC radio said, "I can hardly wait to see the next issue of the AIM Report." I concluded from that and from the numerous inquiries that we have had, questions from reporters, questions from audiences that I have addressed that our readers would be expecting a full treatment of this unusual exposure of journalistic wrongdoing.

    THE FIRST INTERVIEW THAT I GAVE ON JIMMYGATE WAS TO JOEL SPIVAK, ONE OF THE WRC radio talk show hosts on the morning of April 16 by phone from Flagstaff, Arizona, where I had gone to speak to the journalism students at Northern Arizona University. This interview had been set up the day before. In discussing it with Bernie Yoh, AIM's communications director, Bernie suggested that we raise the question of the identity of Deep Throat. I made that the main point of the ten-minute interview with Spivak, and Bernie made sure the UPI bureau in Washington heard about it. The UPI put it on their wire, and papers around the country picked it up. The UPI managed to reach Ben Bradlee at The Post to get his reaction, which they also put on the wire. It is quoted in full on the last page of this Report. I was originally going to use the first sentence; "They can go f--- themselves," as the headline for the story. I decided that Mr. Bradlee's eloquent English might not be appreciated by some of our readers, although it certainly would have made an eye-catching headline. We did use it as the headline of a full-page ad we took out in The Washington Inquirer. That issue of The Inquirer carried a front-page story reporting my call for the resignations of Bradlee and Woodward. Free copies of this issue were distributed at the convention of the American Society of Newspaper Editors being held in Washington, D.C.

    I WAS SUBSEQUENTLY INTERVIEWED BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, THE BOSTON GLOBE, WOL radio in Washington, WSYR radio and channels 5 and 9 in Syracuse, N.Y. where I was speaking on April 20 and 21. On April 18, I felt compelled to call in on John McLaughlin's talk show on WRC radio to point out that Ben Bradlee had not accurately related what Mayor Marion Barry had said about "Jimmy" having been identified. McLaughlin recognized my voice, and I conceded that I was Bradlee's "retromingent vigilante." I said on this program that if the credibility of The Washington Post was going to be restored nothing short of the resignations of Ben Bradlee and Bob Woodward would be required. I communicated that to both the wire services, together with the information that AIM intended to ask the Pulitzer board to investigate the Deep Throat matter since it related to the prize they had awarded The Post for its coverage of Watergate. I haven't seen any indication that this was reported by either AP or UPI.

    I ALSO POINTED OUT ON THE MC LAUGHLIN PROGRAM THAT THE MAN ASSIGNED BY THE POST to do its definitive report on the Jimmygate scandal, ombudsman Bill Green, had published a rapturous column about "Jimmy's World" on October 3, 1980. Green had defended the Post's refusal to disclose Jimmy's identity, saying it was the only promise to Jimmy that had been kept. He said: "Jimmy probably doesn't know many of the promises that have been made to him. There was the Great Society and the war on poverty. There are police who promise to uphold the law. There are schools that promise that everybody will be given a fair start, a chance to make it. There are agencies that promise if you get into trouble, you can get help. Beyond this, there is the country's glittering promise that things will be better if you work." Green said that there was no possibility of withdrawing the promise of anonymity to Jimmy, his mother, and her lover. He gave no hint that "Jimmy's" identity was not known to anyone at The Post except Janet Cooke.

    IF THE OMBUDSMAN HAD BEEN ON HIS TOES HE WOULD HAVE RAISED THE QUESTION OF WHETHER or not the editors knew who Jimmy was before he so eloquently defended their decision to withhold that information from the authorities. Perhaps Bill Green assumed that the editors knew, but having an office in The Post he could easily have checked to see if Ben Bradlee, managing editor Howard Simons, metropolitan editor Bob Woodward and city editor Milton Coleman knew who "Jimmy" was and where he lived. Green said nothing at all about his own role in this matter in his report. He has subsequently said that he had previously heard some of the "rumblings" in the newsroom about the story. He now says that he didn't believe them.

    GREEN'S REPORT HAS BEEN PRAISED FOR ITS THOROUGHNESS AND FOR ITS CANDOR. IT IS long, but it is less than thorough. It is brutally frank in acknowledging that tile editors of The Washington Post made a number of serious mistakes in their handling of the "Jimmy" story, but it glosses over several important points. Only 2,600 words are devoted to the crucial question of who knew what when--before the final explosion--and what they did about it. The early doubters were District Weekly editor Vivian Aplin-Brownlee, who knew that Janet Cooke had a tendency to stretch the truth. She says she disbelieved the story from the beginning and she told city editor Coleman that. There was deputy editor David Maraniss, who was close to Janet Cooke, but who came to doubt the story after talking to Jonathan Neumann, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter on the staff. I have been told that at a meeting at Bob Woodward's house after the story blew, Maraniss, in the presence of several other reporters, confronted the editor saying that he had given him the evidence the story was dubious and Woodward had said it didn't matter. I couldn't reach Maraniss, and Woodward's office refused to comment. Green mentions the meeting in his report, but he says he had not heard of this confrontation.

    WHEN THE STORY WAS NOMINATED FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE A COUPLE OF DOZEN PEOPLE ON the Post staff talked about it, according to Jonathan Neumann. Green quotes Neumann as saying that a number of them felt strongly that it should not be nominated "because it could disgrace us." Green says they didn't report their misgivings to the top editors, but he does not say who any of those people were, except Neumann, and he doesn't say to whom, if anyone, they did communicate their doubts. One of the key doubters had to be Courtland Milloy, who had driven with Janet Cooke through the neighborhood where "Jimmy" was supposed to live. He had discovered that she didn't know the neighborhood, much less "Jimmy's" house. Green says he conveyed his "serious doubts" about the story to city editor Coleman. Coleman says, according to Green, that he relayed those doubts to Woodward and Simons. Simons told Green he had "no memory" of this. Green for some reason does not say how Woodward reacted to Milloy's damaging discovery. That is a serious omission. Green does not tell us if Woodward and Simons at any point told Bradlee of these doubts. Bradlee was quoted as saying: "Nobody ever came in this room and said, 'I have doubts about the story'--before or after publication--and nobody said someone else had misgivings about the story." Bradlee is later quoted as saying that at the time the story was nominated for the Pulitzer he knew of no skepticism about it.

    BEN BRADLEE OCCUPIES A GLASS-WALLED OFFICE IN THE NEWSROOM. HE HAS TO GO THROUGH the newsroom to get to his office. There are a couple of dozen people out there who are filled with doubt about the "Jimmy" story. The city editor knows of their doubts, and the managing editor has been appraised of them. We are supposed to believe that Ben Bradlee was so hermetically sealed in that glass office that no hint of this ever reached his ears. This suggests that either Bradlee is lying or that he is so out of touch with his staff that he doesn't know what is going on. The Green report deals with neither of those possibilities. Green concludes that there is too much trust of reporters, and that was why no one insisted that Cooke tell who "Jimmy" was. Cooke had been advised that if she was ordered by a court to disclose her source she might have to go to jail. Green does not note that any editor who knew her source could also be jailed for refusing to disclose if ordered to do so by a judge. Perhaps that's why the editors didn't want to know.

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